With winter almost entirely upon us, we’re rounding up the best of October and November at Village Underground, which has been a whirlwind of eclecticism – from Neo Kawaii, agricultural punktronica and the Holy Church of Electra. Let’s dig in.
ROSIE LOWE / WED 23 OCT
The seasons changed with Rosie Lowe’s inimitable headline show here. We think John McKie and Gregory Deer’s tweets sum it up in the best way possible:
The album Yu by @rosielowemusic has been on a different plane from most of the other music I’ve heard in 2019 so it was a thrill to experience it live with @lizfordguardian 💛🧡💚❤️💙🤩🥰 Brava! @villunderlondon pic.twitter.com/OwtePJMdD7
— John McKie (@johnmckie) October 23, 2019
— Gregory Deer (@GregoryJDeer) October 23, 2019
By all accounts, Rosie put on an arresting show. For further reading, try this great review from When The Horn Blows:
“Sometimes you see a musician that radiates light and transcends all of your expectations; somehow sounding better than their studio recordings. By subtly stripping things back and allowing the raw nature of her performance to blossom, Rosie Lowe’s stunning show at Village Underground was a lesson in musical mastery.”
CHAI / MON 28 OCT
Photos by Michael Fung
We knew this one would be a lot of fun the moment it was announced – and boy, did CHAI go to town with their Neo Kawaii sensibility. We’re talking choreographed dance routines, a mid-set costume change into blue onesies with tassels and lots of chanting. Super fun, oddball and wild – CHAI’s set goes to show how much fun you can have on stage in one evening.
SNAPPED ANKLES / TUE 29 OCT
Photos by Carla Castadiva
There are some bands that go in for a cut and dry simple set up, and then there’s Snapped Ankles. Support bands galore, multiple stages and two nights of agricultural punktronica packed into our warehouse. Timed in just a few days before Halloween, these shows might have felt raucous in all the right ways, but beneath it were a carefully orchestrated affair featuring (as the tweets below pick up) multi directional sound and vision.
A really fun night with Snapped Ankles at Village Underground. Multi directional sound & vision. Cool supports from Nuha Ruby Ra & dj flugvél og geimskip (not pictured) #chopsgigs #snappedankles @snappedankles @byhut @villunderlondon pic.twitter.com/sQL8CseW2H
— Chöpstick 🇪🇺 (@Chops_Top_Fives) October 30, 2019
Snapped Ankles, at Village Underground (channelling Silwex House)
The monsters return to their ravaged home to play an invigorating, cinematic, surround-sound set. An absolute triumph.
Fuck the developers.
Fuck the estate agents.
Fuck the capitalism in cultural capital. pic.twitter.com/kmLsCRln8u
— Steven Turk (@steventurko) October 29, 2019
— el fieldingo (@elfieldingo) October 29, 2019
Sometimes I do wonder if I see the same bands too much. However, when they are this much fun why wouldn't you? @snappedankles being terrific at the @villunderlondon last night. #SnappedAnkles @byhut pic.twitter.com/CsPuEgvN2K
— Toby Cotton (@TobiasCotton) October 30, 2019
WARMDUSCHER / WED 06 NOV
Photos by Eleonora Collini
A wild-eyed supergroup formed of Fat White Family, Paranoid London and Childhood, Warmduscher seem to effortlessly turn the romantic sprawling highways of America into wacky, impassioned, guttural, garage rock stompers. Their VU show with support from Nuha Ruby Ra, Meatraffle and Squid was dubbed the best gig of the month by Josh Hadfield when BBC 6 Music asked for suggestions.
We like Louder Than War’s review – here:
“It’s ridiculous, it’s glorious, its unforgettable, it’s a celebration and it’s like taking a warm shower straight after taking a cold wet walk in the forest. The kind of entertainment that really needs encouraging and deserves encouraging.”
MAKAYA MCCRAVEN / TUE 19 NOV
Then in November, EFG London Jazz Festival treated us to an invigorating Makaya McCraven set. It’s the second year in a row the renowned Chicago musician headlined at VU, this time with a performance reviewed by the Financial Times:
“It was McCraven’s condensed eruptions, hi-hat splashes and bass-drum paradiddles that really roused the crowd. He delivered them with clarity and savvy but the vibe was underground. McCraven describes himself as a beat scientist, and so it proved.”
DORIAN ELECTRA / WED 20 NOV
Photos by Michael Fung
Our Holy Church of Electra topped off an incendiary month for live music at VU. Dorian Electra played their biggest sold out show to date within our four walls, and you can bet they went to town on the production. We were treated to a surprise sword fight before Dorian took to the stage, with a night that featured backing dancers, huge screen projections and lyric videos for Dorian’s songs. From the crowd, it was also brilliant to see so many members of the audience donning outre outfits to party in.
So many gorgeous people last night @DORIANELECTRA biggest sold out show 🎉 @villunderlondon #Brilliant #flamboyant & I finally got to meet them 😀⚔️ @Badasspaillette @witchcitymoon #dorianelectra pic.twitter.com/yOnp6f7wD6
— YesZebra 🦓 (@YesZebra) November 21, 2019
NATURALIA: ACID PAULI / SAT 23 NOV
Photos by Hungry Visuals
And finally, on Saturday 23rd November we took a dive into psychedelic journeyman Acid Pauli’s world for a spectacular four hour extended set with Naturalia. The night took us on a trip that incorporated not only techno and house but a wide variety of music across genres beyond dance music.
See our full album by Hungry Visuals via VU’s Facebook, here.